Youth workers and civil society organisations across the globe will be better equipped to establish and sustain youth clubs that support the needs of young people, thanks to a practical resource guide launched by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Entitled ‘Co-Creating Youth Spaces: A Practice Based Guide for Youth Facilitators’, the manual is designed to help youth professionals, in collaboration with adolescents and young adults, develop youth clubs which enhance active participation in society and improve leadership skills and understanding of social issues.
The guide was launched during Youth Work Week at a showcase at the Commonwealth’s headquarters in London, in November 2014. It offers practical advice and tips to ensure youth clubs are responsive to the needs and rights of adolescents and young adults and is the product of extensive field research in India.
Speaking at the launch, Katherine Ellis, Director of Youth at the Commonwealth Secretariat, said: “This guide is a rich compilation of the actual experiences of the youth club members and facilitators, both adults and peers, during the process of forming, running and sustaining a youth club.”
“By working with youth workers the Commonwealth is transforming lives from the village level up to the national level. This guide and the process that led to its creation provides a good example of how our work impacts young people at the community level.”
The manual was developed by Commonwealth Youth Programme staff in India, in partnership with Pravah, a leading youth worker training organisation based in New Delhi, and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, an autonomous youth club supported by India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
“The stories that were spawned [in this manual] are those that can really lend learning and insight to other people to create empowering youth spaces,” said Arjun Shekhar, Pravah’s Board President in New Delhi. “The more you spread the idea of knowledge, the more it grows and takes a life of its own.
“Please include us in the life that it takes by getting back to us on about the ways that you have used it,” he added.
Youth Work Week is a celebration of the achievements of youth workers and young people. The international theme for Youth Work Week 2014 is ‘Youth Empowerment though Soft Skills’. Soft skills are the competences which enable people to interact effectively and think creatively, such as team-work, self-confidence and resilience.